Here's Why You Shouldn't Stand and Eat, According to Research
Researchers at the University of South Florida say there's only one instance where you may benefit from eating a meal while standing.
For many people, grabbing breakfast and lunch on the go is the reality of everyday life—and we're not just talking about working lunches. The growing popularity of food trucks and the fact that fast-casual chains are often packed at meal times means you're more likely to stand and eat outside this summer. A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research shows the rise of standing-room-only restaurants isn't doing your health any favors, though; a team of researchers at the University of South Florida found that eating while standing doesn't allow you to fully enjoy your meal or eat the proper amount as compared to when you're sitting.
Using data from 358 individuals inside a lab setting, researchers asked participants to take part in a taste test where some rooms had chairs and others had none at all—they were also asked to rate their physical and psychological stress during the taste test, and whether or not they enjoyed their meal. The study revealed that individuals who were sitting said they enjoyed their meals significantly more than those who were standing.
Even when people were asked to consume unappealing foods—like an overly salted brownie—researchers noted those who were seated had less of a visceral reaction compared to those in standing rooms. Alongside a few other experiments, researchers said the data generated by their experiments suggested that a person's attitude towards the meal they're eating can be greatly influenced if they're sitting down. When you are battling the feeling of discomfort from standing, it's more likely that you'll be less impressed and satisfied with your meal because you're not focused on taste, researchers said.
In a final experiment, people were asked to rate hot coffee while sitting and standing; those who were standing drank less coffee and were less perceptive to the temperature of the coffee than others in the test. The trend of people consuming less while standing was a recurring find in most of the trials, and researchers say it could be a benefit for dieters who are attempting to practice better portion control. The team behind the study says this highlights something called the "sixth sense," which is responsible for balance and spatial orientation when people are going about their days.